Oracle WebLogic Server 12c: First Look

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By Michel Schildmeijer
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About this book

Oracle Weblogic 12c is Oracle's number 1 strategic Application Server - able to run on both cloud computing systems and conventional ones. Oracle WebLogic 12c implements the new JAVA EE 6 standard and supports JAVA SE 7, and this book will guide you through all the new features, enhancements, and tools inside the new 12c release.

"Oracle WebLogic Server 12c: First Look" offers a focused look at the new Weblogic features with real world examples.

This practical guide gives clear explanations and dives deep into all the definitions and concepts of Weblogic 12c.

This book starts with a short introduction to WebLogic 12c. It then swiftly covers the new features of JAVA EE and SE where we will also learn to develop Java EE 6 applications. This book also covers the new configuration and deployment features. Finally all the new cloud features and techniques will be highlighted, including integration with Enterprise Manager 12c.

Publication date:
June 2012
Publisher
Packt
Pages
144
ISBN
9781849687188

 

Chapter 1. Ready for the Cloud!

Anyone who follows the Middleware world, and especially the application server market, should have noticed the change on December 1, 2011.

This date was chosen by Oracle to announce the launch of its next generation of Fusion Middleware products, using 12 as the major release number.

One of the first products to be released for the version-12 family along with the launch of the Enterprise Manager 12c — the Java Enterprise Application Server — forms the foundation of Oracle's Fusion Middleware product Oracle WebLogic Server 12c!

Oracle WebLogic Server is already known as Oracle's strategic number one application server for JAVA Enterprise Applications, and is the first which will be at the 12c release. Later on in 2012, other products from the Oracle family, such as the Oracle SOA Suite, will follow.

The c is replacing the g

As you can see, Oracle replaced the g in the release with c. It all had to do with where Oracle put their focus. The g stood for grid computing which Oracle introduced starting from release 10. Oracle's grid computing product group includes (among other things) a database management system (DBMS) and an application server. In addition to supporting grid computing features such as resource sharing and automatic load balancing, 10g products automate many database management tasks. The Real Application Cluster (RAC) component makes it possible to install a database over multiple servers. Oracle has done a lot of effort to get ready for cloud computing, the c appears in the main release.

Oracle also aligned their internal release numbers, where as in 11g it was a bit confusing, for example, Oracle WebLogic 11g R1 PS 4 stood for version 10.3.5, now internal release-number is 12.1.1

 

The c is replacing the g


As you can see, Oracle replaced the g in the release with c. It all had to do with where Oracle put their focus. The g stood for grid computing which Oracle introduced starting from release 10. Oracle's grid computing product group includes (among other things) a database management system (DBMS) and an application server. In addition to supporting grid computing features such as resource sharing and automatic load balancing, 10g products automate many database management tasks. The Real Application Cluster (RAC) component makes it possible to install a database over multiple servers. Oracle has done a lot of effort to get ready for cloud computing, the c appears in the main release.

Oracle also aligned their internal release numbers, where as in 11g it was a bit confusing, for example, Oracle WebLogic 11g R1 PS 4 stood for version 10.3.5, now internal release-number is 12.1.1

 

WebLogic 12c supports over more than 200 new features!


Those who had followed the launch of the new Oracle WebLogic 12c on December 1, 2011, should have seen all commercial and marketing one-liners that they've launched in the diverse presentations, demos, and webcasts. One of them was:

Of course, discussing all those 200 new features would make this book a 1000 pages thick, but the headlines will be handled in this book and we will zoom in on some really important features.

 

Overview and structure in the new features


To bring some structure in all the new features, we will divide them in categories from which you will get a clearer view, and address the new features in a broader perspective.

Java EE 6 support and development

The new Oracle WebLogic 12c implements the Java EE 6 standards, which supports all kinds of Java EE 6 specifications implemented such as Java EE 6 features and development features:

Java EE 6 features

The new features and specifications are listed as follows:

  • JSF 2.0

  • Java Servlets 3.0

  • JPA 2.0

  • EJB 3.1

  • JAX-RS

  • Managed Beans 1.0

  • Support for Java SE 7 (and Java SE 6) which includes:

    • Java language optimizations and internationalization

    • Client and server support

    • SSL/TLS 1.2 in JSSE to support JAVA socket transport security

    • JVM Converge

Not typically a specification, but important though: the convergence of the Java VM; JRockit and HotSpot, are both incorporated with the best features from both Java virtual machines. The JVM convergence will be a multiyear process. Probably it will be a converged JVM-based on HotSpot with all goodness of JRockit.

The following are the JRockit features and specifications:

  • Robustness

    • Cooperative thread suspension

    • More robust JIT compiler

    • White box testing APIs

    • Refactored codebase for maintainability

  • Serviceability

    • JRockit Flight Recorder

    • HPROF heap dump support

    • Enhanced JMX agent

    • Native memory tracking

    • Fine granular compiler directives

  • Performance

    • Up to 64 GB compressed references (was 4 GB)

    • Up to 30 percent lower GC pause times overall

The following are the features of HotSpot JVM:

  • Oracle apps and middleware on Solaris

  • Client and non-Oracle apps on Solaris/Windows/Linux

    Note

    We will discuss JVM Converge in detail in Chapter 2, Supporting the JAVA EE 6. We will also highlight some of the important new JAVA EE 6 specifications.

Development features

WebLogic 12c has support for many IDEs. WebLogic already supports JDeveloper 11.1.1.5, but will come out with 11.1.1.6 later on. However, anyone developing applications using WLS 11.1.1.5 can deploy them to WLS 12c.

Also supported are Eclipse and NetBeans 7.1 IDE. As said, the JDeveloper 11.1.1.6 and IntelliJIdea IDE will be supported in a later timeframe. The following is the screenshot of the IDEs already supported by WebLogic 12c:

The following screenshot shows the IDEs that will be supported later in 2012. Unfortunately, during the writing process of this book, JDeveloper 12 was not available.

The following are the other features:

  • New enhanced WebLogic Maven plugin.

  • Lightweight development with WebLogic server. The ZIP distribution file does not contain any installers and can be used to configure a domain when unzipped.

  • Built-in GlassFish descriptor recognition for easy re-deployment to Oracle WebLogic Server. GlassFish Server supports the weblogic-application.xml, weblogic.xml, and weblogic-webservices.xml deployment descriptor files.

Configuration and tooling

There are many new features and tooling in the new WebLogic 12c. They are as follows:

  • WebLogic 12c provides upgrades from iAS with automated tooling WebLogic 11g

  • GlassFish redeployment with a built-in GlassFish descriptor recognition for re-deployment to WebLogic server

  • JBoss and WebSphere with migration services

  • WebLogic 12c has Active GridLink — This is an optimization for RAC Databases. GridLink uses Fast Connection Failover for faster RAC failure detection.

Performance and failover

As WebLogic 12c is part of the Cloud foundation, it will run on conventional systems, and also on utilized hardware or better called engineered systems or Exalogic. To meet the requirements of these new hardware techniques, WebLogic 12c has better performance features.

Some of these features are:

  • Higher Performance accomplished with different kinds of techniques such as the following:

    • Parallel muxers with Java NIO APIs for low-level I/O-based operations

    • An optimized work scheduler providing improvements to the Increment Advisor used to manage the size of WebLogic Server's self-tuning thread pool

    • Lazy de-serialization of session data on the replica server until required

    • Multiple replication channels for synchronous in-memory session replication between servers in a WebLogic cluster

    • Enhanced high availability and disaster recovery

Traffic management

WebLogic 12c supports Oracle Traffic Director. Oracle Traffic Director is a layer-7 software load balancer. Oracle Traffic Director:

  • Is a load balancer

  • Is a local traffic manager

  • Uses the application network layer 7

  • Can act as a reverse proxy

  • Supports SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0. You can configure SSL/TLS-enabled HTTP listeners

  • Will be the replacement for Oracle Web Cache

  • Is not a built-in feature of WebLogic 12c

  • Supports Integrated traffic management such as routing, load balancing, request-routing and caching, and SSL crypto acceleration

Enterprise Manager 12c

Tight integration with the Enterprise Manager 12 Cloud Control and the use of the Middleware. Within the Enterprise Manager one can administer, clone, perform deployment, and provision tasks. Enterprise Manager 12c will be discussed in Chapter 5,Integration and Management with Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control.

Some of the other features are as follows:

  • Navigate the middleware routing topology

  • Customize middleware performance summaries

  • End-to-end performance management

  • Use the middleware diagnostics advisor to size the JDBC connection pool

  • Diagnose WebLogic performance bottlenecks

  • Capture diagnostics snapshots

  • Clone an Oracle WebLogic domain from the software library

  • Deploy a Java EE application

  • Manage SOA suite

  • Manage Coherence

The following screenshot shows you a typical middleware diagnostics page:

Managing Oracle WebLogic Server with EM 12c provides you a broad end-to-end monitoring and management perspective from the external face of applications, to the majority of the business logic. This means multiple clusters of managed servers that handle both presentation and business logic and communicate with each other via RMI, Web Services, and other remote invocations in order to complete transactions for frontend processes. In order to properly manage these WebLogic servers (whether there are multiple large-scale deployments or just a couple of clusters), administrators need to keep track of performance, service levels, configurations, error/exception handling, patching, and general application life cycle activities such as scale out and WebLogic domain or Java EE application provisioning.

Distributed caching

The use of Coherence already exists, but was always a bit of a side product, from WebLogic 12 there will be a tighter integration with the latest Coherence as follows:

  • ActiveCache integration for JPA used in WebLogic server. This allows JPA Entity caching and the TopLink grid enables you to direct queries to the Coherence Active Cache.

  • Coherence clusters have their own MBeans within WLS, which means more integration of Coherence into the WebLogic server

Another integration is the one with the node manager, which is used for starting/stopping cache servers remotely and from the console. Exalogic and Cloud ready!

Oracle WebLogic is an Enterprise Application Server part of the Application Cloud Foundation. Oracle Cloud Application Foundation combines technologies together: Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, the basis for the cloud world, Oracle WebLogic Server for Java EE, Oracle Tuxedo for C/C++/COBOL, Oracle Coherence in-memory data grid, Oracle JRockit and Hotspot Java SE solutions, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder, and Oracle Traffic Director.

In the following diagram, you can see where WebLogic is positioned in this foundation:

Some more Exalogic features

The following are some Exalogic features:

  • The Virtual Assembly Builder: Deploys, un-deploys scale assemblies with Oracle Virtual Assembly, quickly create and configure entire multitier application topologies. With OVA, there is a new model for deployment, patching, versioning, and management.

  • Exabus: High-speed network virtualization. Exabus has the following components:

    • Coherence 3.7 for Java applications

    • Tuxedo 12c for C++ applications

    Infiniband network interface

    Both are using direct memory access and kernel bypass for better throughput and lower latency.

  • Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control, which we have seen earlier in this chapter.

More Exalogic features will be discussed in Chapter 6,Oracle WebLogic 12c to the Cloud – Exalogic.

 

Summary


The new Oracle WebLogic 12c has done a massive transformation with some of the most important features such as Java EE 6 and Exalogic readiness. Oracle has made a huge step into the future launching their number one Application Server to the next level, and I think you will agree when I say that this is heaven on earth for an IT technician.

In the next chapters, we will do a deep dive into the various features, with sometimes a side-step to some to WebLogic related products.

About the Author

  • Michel Schildmeijer

    Michel Schildmeijer was born in the Netherlands in 1966. He studied pharmaceuticals, and after the military duty he started in industrial and hospital pharmacy. Because he got more involved in computers, he made the change to IT in 1996. At this moment he is an Oracle Fusion Middleware Architect at Qualogy, with focus on technical infrastructure, Serverside solutions, installing, administering, configuring the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack. His experience is from integrations at telco´s using Oracle AIA, Oracle Portal, OID, Forms&Reports, and Discoverer up to the latest Oracle WebLogic 12c releases with practically all Oracle products running on top of it He has a special interest in developing tools for administrators and automation of common administration tasks, so he has in depth knowledge of the Oracle WebLogic server and its unveiled secrets.

    Browse publications by this author

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